News Roundup #7: Iowan donor diversity, Wall Street Journal and NOTA naysaying, drive bits n’ pieces

Lucky number seven. We’ve got some interesting stories for you.

Addressing minority donor paucity in Iowa

Iowa is looking to increase the diversity of its bone marrow and organ donors. As the Daily Ioawan, the paper for the University of Iowa reports:

Only 4 percent of minorities in Iowa are organ donors.

“We need more — we need more people of diverse ethnic backgrounds to register — people’s lives depend on it,” said Colleen Chapleau, the assistant director of the UI Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program.

In 2011, minorities made up only around 6 percent of the living donors in Iowa. No African Americans or Asians were living donors.

While most of the work is still donor recruitment “across the board”, there are some who take the approach of community specific recruitment. Some of you who read TransplantInformers may already be doing that community specific work and seeing how this makes an impact, but it’s always great to hear the more people are catching onto the fact that this is the key to increasing the number of diverse donors:

Julee Darner, donor services coordinator for the Iowa Marrow Donor program, said she is working to fix the problem with diversity donors.Currently focusing on college recruitment, Darner works with the UI student organization Project Marrow, which enlists college students to be a part of the donor registry by swabbing their mouths and adding their health history and personal information to a computer database.

“[Project Marrow] is trying to figure out a way to get more of a minority presence — the goal is for each student minority organization to hold a drive within their minority classmates,” said Darner.

WSJ vs. DOJ

Yet another major news outlet is covering the Department of Justice’s appeal to overturn the 9th circuit court Flynn v. Holder ruling to include peripheral blood(bone marrow) stem cell donation to be compensated. The Wall Street Journal unabashedly argues to uphold the ruling, yet another anti-NOTA stance. Sadly, the article fails to identify the more complex issues beyond a blind view that such an appeal is misguided by the primacy of altruism and some touchy-feely  notion that market forces and commodification are evil. The comments section is particularly fascinating on this article, where several commenters have blended the discussion on compensation for donors and responsibility for life  with the abortion debate, there are attacks on Obamacare and the current Justice Department, varying viewpoints on poverty and race, among other things. Read a very different perspective from the LA Times and  our recent piece for a more balanced viewpoint.

Drive to succeed

Following up, the bone marrow donor drive we mentioned in Guam was incredibly successful. And from coast to coast, more patient campaigns are waged.

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One Response to “News Roundup #7: Iowan donor diversity, Wall Street Journal and NOTA naysaying, drive bits n’ pieces”
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    1. […] those of you who were wondering about the Flynn behind Flynn v. Holder, look no further. The BBC has done a profile on the Flynn family whose lawsuit sparked the landmark 9th circuit […]



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